Friday, December 25, 2009

Just a Quickie...

Just wanted to wish everyone happy, relaxing holidays!

And to remind all that I have another copy of The Temptress to give away this month, so if you haven't posted a comment yet do so...and you'll be entered for a chance to win!

Friday, December 18, 2009


So, today I was thinking about the support that I have where my writing is concerned. I have a lot of people in my life who care about me and support my writing "habit" because they love me and want to encourage me: my parents, my husband, best friend, friends, etc.

I'm lucky enough to have all of that support and encouragement during all of my ups and downs, streaks of self-consciousness, bouts of sheer joy...but I also have something super special; I have a cheerleader.

My cheerleader is my cousin, Leslie. She is my Alpha reader; she is my first editor, she is my biggest fan. She bolsters me when I need it; she's enthusiastic and realistic at the same time. She doesn't sugar coat anything, and she gives me what I need when I need it.

I also have my agent; my second cheerleader. I knew that I needed to find a second Leslie in the agenting world and I have. Alisha really believes in me and I am grateful for that.

Every writer needs a cheerleader. Do you have that special someone who keeps you writing? Someone who gives you the strength and support that you need in this crazy world of writing? Who is your cheerleader?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Were you born with it?

I find myself having these strange conversations lately with people who get quite heated over the various points of view that are being expressed. Last week it was writing groups, this week it was whether or not a person is born with writing "talent".

Now, this topic is one that I've flip-flopped on over the years. When I was younger, and very much influenced by those around me, I remember being told that good writers are born with talent and no matter what a bad writer does to try to improve, they never will be able to. Why? Well, because they just weren't born with it.

And I believed it then. Which probably helped with giving me a not so healthy dose of self-consciousness and harsh self-criticism when it came to my "talent" as a writer. I have always been my own worst critic.

I do believe that some people are born with the need, drive, instinct to commit word to paper. I do believe that some people are born to be writers in some form or other. We are pestered with this nagging sense of duty to write, write, write. I remember having this urge from the time that I was a young fact, I wrote my first novel when I was six. I still have it. It's called The Fuzzy Wuzzles. It doesn't make a lot of sense, there is a plot, but the spelling is so terrible that I can hardly figure out what I was trying to say. There are some pretty crazy pictures to go with it as well! So I've had the need to write since I was very young.

Do I believe that people are born with talent?

I don't really know. I know that there are some writers who really appeal to me as a reader and some who do not. It is a matter of preference and perspective.

I believe that some people may need to work at it a little harder than others and some people come into their mature voice and "talent" at an earlier age then others. I also believe that practice is essential to improve one's writing ability and that persistance, perserverance and drive are necessary to make it in the publishing world.

What do you all think? Are you born with it or can you work at becoming a "talented" writer?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Writing Groups

I was having a discussion today about the pros and cons of writing groups and realized that a lot of people (or at least, a lot of people I was talking to today) are very much opposed to the idea.


Well, the main reason seemed to be that everyone thought their work and ideas were unsafe in a writing group. What I mean is, almost all of the people I was talking to insisted that I was crazy for participating in writing groups because they felt that I was opening myself up to having someone steal my work! Needless to say, none of these people are members of writing groups!

I was truly shocked by the level of passion and conviction that these people (some fellow writers, some not) had regarding the threat of theft within writing groups. (Some also could not see the benefit to having others critique their work...but that's a whole other argument altogether!) But not one of them could cite a concrete example of a writer having their work stolen due to being a member of a writing group.

Now, I 'm quite new to the whole writing group idea. I just recently joined an on-line writing group this fall and am enjoying it (and getting a lot of great feedback). I was welcomed right away and have felt like I'm part of this great writing family. A family that is getting to know my writing quirks. Not once have I felt that my work was in danger of being stolen. In fact, the whole conversation today made me a little uncomfortable...I couldn't imagine my group abusing my trust, or anyone else's for that matter.

And the pros to being in a writing group are very clear to me. 1. I am surrounded by like-minded people who have the same passion for writing as I do. 2. I am getting valuable feedback and fresh eyes to look at my completed projects. 3. I am using my own skills to give feedback and offer my opinions on other writers' work.

On the other hand, I know a few writers who vow never to join a writing group because they feel that it is a waste of their time. They don't feel the need to have others critique their work. At times, I think that too much feedback from too many people can make more work and be less effective, however, I do value the opinions that I am lucky enough to get from my group. And some writers argue that it's too much of a time commitment. This is something that I have struggled with myself actually. Being in a writing group is a time commitment, not only because I need to prepare something for critique but because I need to be available to critique. So when I committed to joining a group, I chose one that was on-line and therefore I can critique when I get a spare minute anytime during the month. It works well for me.

So, I put it to you, are you in a writing group? Do you see the value to participating in this type of group? Do you have any fears or concerns? Do you have any great stories of support?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Michelle Muto!
Congratulations Michelle, you've won an e-copy of The Temptress.
Send me an email so that I can get some details from you.

As for the rest of you...the contest resets as of today. Post a comment this month and enter for a chance to win a copy of The Temptress!